February 22, 2021 at 06:07 pm
Manila Standard Business
A member of the so-called ‘Balik saTamang Serbisyo’ bloc said he will seek a congressional probe on the complaints against DITO Telecommunity Corp.
Former House Deputy Speaker and Laguna First District Rep. Dan Fernandez said Congress could not turn a blind eye to alleged violation of rights of some homeowners’ associations after DITO was given by the government a permit to operate as the country’s third major telecom player.
Fernandez said Congress should look into the serious complaints by communities against DITO.
“As soon as possible, I will file a resolution to formally ask the House leadership to direct the appropriate committee, which is most likely the committee on information and communications technology, to immediately conduct an investigation,” said the Laguna lawmaker.
Fernandez said that in its desire to meet its target of 1,600 cell towers before the March 8 commercial rollout, DITO rushed the construction activities to meet the deadline set by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
DITO Telecom, a joint venture of businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecoms, recently passed the technical audit by independent auditor R.G. Manabat & Co. as it prepares for commercial rollout on March 8.
Fernandez said that under Bayanihan Law 2, particularly Section 6.8.2 of the implementing rules and regulations, there were only two requirements for the construction, installation and operation of telecom and internet infrastructures, and these were the building permit in accordance to the National Building Code and height clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
Fernandez said DITO should show that it deserved the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity given by the government.
Fernandez cited as an example the reported issuance by the Office of Building Official of Bacolod City of a first notice of violation against DITO for the alleged illegal construction of a cell site in Purok Himaya, Barangay Alijis, which allegedly violated Section 301 ng Presidential Decree 1096 or the National Building Code of the Philippines.
Residents of Purok Himaya and Purok Paghigugma earlier expressed opposition to DITO’s construction of a cell tower in the area by filing a petition with the City Council to stop it.
The Malabon City government also filed a complaint before the City Prosecutor’s Office against the third telco player in December last year for constructing a cell site in Barangay Tinajeros without the necessary permit.
Engineers Hue Jidong, Jockey Mediola and six others filed a case against DITO for alleged violation of PD 1096 or the National Building Code.
DITO Telecom, which received a certificate of public convenience and necessity in July 2019, was expected to deliver its commitments of 37.03 percent national population coverage with a minimum average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second in its first year of operation.